By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Sept 18: In the run-up to the grand minority congregation slated for September 20, 2017 in Guwahati, the Assam Minority Development Board (AMDB) has said that over the years the definition of ‘religious minorities’ in Assam was shrunk into only the ‘minority people of East Bengal origin’ by the Congress.
Talking to newsmen in Guwahati on Monday, AMDB chairman Muminul Aowal said: “The Centre has an avowed principle of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikash. In sync with the Central policy, State Chief Minister Sarbanda Sonowal has also adopted the policy of going ahead by taking people of the hills, plains and various ethnic communities living in the Barak and the Brahmaputra valleys along. Such a mindset has let Dispur widen its former ‘shrunk definition’ of the phrase ‘religious minorities’ so as to cover all belonging to Islamic faith, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Christians and others. However, all these religious minorities living in the State are lagging behind in one way or the other. They lag behind economically and their children are deprived of education facilities. They are facing numerous problems. The meeting going to be held at the Circuit House in the city is to take stock of the problems afflicting minorities in the State. The minority communities can also extend their suggestions for solution to their problems.”
Aowal said: “During the past 15-year Congress rule in the State around Rs 15-20 crore funds meant for various minority development schemes, both of central and state government ones, was misused. Inquiry into each and every corruption is going on. The beneficiaries against schemes like skill development, trainings, grants, assistance and others are rarely found. We’re lagging behind because of corruption that took place in the last 15 years. The target minority beneficiaries were deprived of scholarship and many other facilities meant for them. In an on the spot inquiry I myself have seen many anomalies. I’ve lodged complaints at the Chief Minister’s Vigilance cells and the inquiries are going as a follow-up action.”
Apart from around 40 Muslim organizations, representatives from the Catholic Association of Assam (CAC), Asom Sikh Santha, Shree Jain Swetambhar Terapanthi Sabha, Sree Digambhar Jain Panchayat, Shree Jain Swetamber Mandir Margi Sangh, Shree Sadhu Margi Jain, Srawak Sangh, Vardhaman Sthakwasi Jain Srawak Sangh, Bodo Baptist Church Association, the Buddhist Association, etc., are to take part at the congregation.